Michigan was among 44 states that added solar energy jobs last year.
Jobs tied to the solar energy industry grew 48 percent in the state for 2016 with the addition of 1,339 jobs, according to an annual report from The Solar Foundation, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit advocacy group.
Michigan’s solar workforce stood at 4,118 last year, which ranked 15th among all U.S. states.
Despite the growth, Michigan’s solar workforce was just 4.1 percent of California’s, which included 100,050 people — the highest in the nation, according to the report. Massachusetts, Texas, Nevada and Florida ranked among the top five states.
Nationwide, the solar energy industry grew 25 percent, adding more than 51,000 jobs for the year, according to the report.
The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Jobs Census defines solar workers as people who spend half their time or more on solar-related work. Nationwide, the industry added jobs in all sectors, including manufacturing (up 26 percent to 38,121), installation (up 14 percent to 137,133), project development jobs (up 53 percent to 34,400 jobs), and sales and distribution (up 32 percent to 32,147).